(March 23th, 2020 – Washington, D.C.) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted Governor Vázquez Garced’s request to help businesses on the island affected by the global emergency of Coronavirus COVID-19. This assistance is a result of Governor Vázquez Garced’s March 18, 2020 letter to the SBA requesting resources under the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program for businesses in Puerto Rico under the Robert T. Stafford Emergency Assistance and Disaster Relief Act (P.L. 100-707). SBA granted the Governor’s request on March 20th, 2020, providing Puerto Rico essential resources to ensure that entrepreneurs continue to be able to keep their business open, return to work, and overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

Governor Vázquez Garced’s SBA approved request includes full access and assistance to local businesses for the EIDL, and up to $2 million in assistance to provide economic support to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus COVID-19. Additionally, the program can be used for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Furthermore, it was also requested that the interest rate of the loans be 3.75% or the lowest applicable rate for small businesses. This assistance will help alleviate economic injury caused by this global outbreak and provide economic stimulus to the Puerto Rico’s economy during this emergency.

Additionally, as SBA continues to provide relief, the island will have assistance and guidance from the agency. SBA will be offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small business on the island that can be requested here. SBA will also answer questions about the EIDL program as well as explain the application process. Inquiries should be directed to SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. 

“We thank SBA for acting swiftly to provide small businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size much-needed assistance during this Coronavirus COVID-19 global emergency. As Puerto Rico continues to weather this outbreak, these resources will provide our entrepreneurs and business owners relief and economic assistance to meet their financial obligations,” said Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq. “PRFAA will continue to work with SBA and other Federal Agencies to provide resources that continue to ensure the welfare, health, and safety of the people of Puerto Rico during this pandemic.” 

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